Ronald A. Katz


Ronald A. Katz

Ronald A. Katz (born in 1935 or 1936 [http://www.forbes.com/asap/2002/0624/065_print.html Pfeiffer, Eric "Setting patent traps" Forbes Magazine, June 24, 2002] ] ) is an inventor and president of Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing LP. His inventions are primarily in the field of automated call center technology. Katz has developed a portfolio of more than 50 US patents covering his innovations. His inventions are related to toll free numbers, automated attendant, automated call distribution, voice response unit, computer telephone integration and speech recognition. [ [http://library.findlaw.com/2004/Jun/9/133461.html Bednarek et. al, "Katz Patent Reexamination: A Change in Momentum Favoring RAKTL Targets", ShawPittman, June 9, 2004] ]

Inventor and entrepreneur

In 1961, Ronald Katz co-founded Telecredit, Inc. This was the first company to "enable merchants to verify consumer checks over the phone using an automated system without the assistance of a live operator". [ [http://michaelbest.com/resources/docs/uploaded/American%20Banker_Jerry%20Fellows%20Quoted.pdf Bills, Steve, "Patent Lawsuit Involving Citi Seen Having Big Implications", American Banker, July 27, 2005] ] In 1998, Mr. Katz formed a partnership with American Express Company to provide call processing services. That partnership later became First Data Corporation.

Ronald Katz has since founded Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. (RAKTL). RAKTL's primary purpose is to license the Katz patent portfolio to companies using automated call centers. Over 150 companies have taken a license to the patents. [ [https://www.insurancenewsnet.com/article.asp?n=1&neID=200701161680.2_7c05003d7a0b6965 "The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. and Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. Settle Patent Lawsuit and Enter Into License Agreement", PR Newswire, January 16, 2007] ] RAKTL has thus earned approximately a billion dollars in license fees. Katz has been characterized as a patent troll largely due to the aggressive legal tactics used by RAKTL, [ [http://www.security.ithub.com/article/Intellectual+Security+Patent+Everything+You+Do+Before+Someone+Else+Does/167480_2.aspx Garretson, Rob, "Intellectual Security: Patent Everything You Do, Before Someone Else Does", Security IT Hub, Dec 5, 2005] ] such as suing infringers who refuse to take a license.

His patents

Characteristics

The written description of the invention in Katz's patents usually runs 20 to 40 pages, but the claims run into hundreds of pages. "He has literally thousands of claims, and they differ only in trivial respects. Many are broad and vague, and sorting them out takes a lot of time," says an attorney who asked not to be named. Katz denies that his strategy is to overly amend and complicate his patents.

Reexamination

In 2004, the Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office ordered four of the Katz patents to be reexamined. [ [http://www.uspto.gov/go/og/2004/week18/patreq1.htm United States Patent and Trademark Office OG Notices: 04 May 2004] ] The Director determined that a "substantial new question of patentability" had been raised. Since then, certain members of the public have also filed requests for reexamination of ten more Katz patents. These requests were based on said members of the public submitting new prior art that could raise "substantial new question of patentability" as to the validity of the patents. In three of the cases, the patent office disagreed and felt that the new prior art was not sufficiently strong to warrant a reexamination. In the other seven cases, the patent office agreed and ordered reexaminations. All reexaminations were still ongoing as of January 2007.

Partial list

*US patent|5128984 [http://www.citigroup.com/citigroup/privacy/terms.htm Partial list of Ronald A. Katz patents licensed to Citibank as of January 3, 2006] ]
*US patent|5561707
*US patent|5684863
*US patent|5815551
*US patent|5828734
*US patent|5917893
*US patent|5898762
*US patent|5974120

List of patents undergoing reexamination

*US patent|5251252 [http://www.uspto.gov/go/og/ Official Gazette of the USPTO, 2004 - 2006] ]
*US patent|5255309
*US patent|5259023
*US patent|5292547
*US patent|5351285
*US patent|5529023
*US patent|5561707
*US patent|5684863
*US patent|5787156
*US patent|5828734
*US patent|6434223

Partial list of Katz licensees

*AT&T [http://michaelbest.com/resources/docs/uploaded/American%20Banker_Jerry%20Fellows%20Quoted.pdf Bills, Steve, “Patent Lawsuit Involving Citi Seen Having Big Implications, American Banker, July 27, 2005] ]
*Bank of America
*Citibank
*Delta Air Lines
*Hewlett Packard
*Home Shopping Network
*IBM
*Microsoft
*Sears, Roebuck and Company [ Press Release, " [http://web.archive.org/web/20040415082149/http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040406/latu073_1.html Sears, Roebuck and Co. Obtains a License Under the Ronald A. Katz Technology Licensing, L.P. Patents] ", Los Angeles, April 6, 2004. ]
*Wachovia
*Wells Fargo
*TD Ameritrade

ee also

*Call center
*Patent troll
*Reexamination

References


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